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Kaitlyn Webb


Chapter 30 The War to End War: 1917-1918

I. War by act of Germany

a. The president asked Congress for authority t arm American
merchant ships
b. Little group of willful men
c. Their obstruction was a powerful reminder of the
continuing strength of American isolationism
d. Zimmermann note intercepted and published on march 1,
1917 infuriating Americans Arthur Zimmermann had
secretly proposed a German-Mexican alliance, tempting
anti Yankee Mexico with veiled promises of recovering
Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona
e. Rousing news that a revolution in Russia had toppled the
cruel regime of the tsars. America could now fight
foursquare for democracy on the side of the Allies, without
the black sheep of Russian despotism in the Allied blood
f. Wilson asked for a declaration of war on April 2, 1917
II. Wilsonian Idealism Enthroned
a. Wilson was going to shatter one of the most sacred of
those traditions by entangling America in a distant
European war
b. America had prided itself on its isolationism
c. Radiating the spiritual fervor of his Presbyterian ancestor,
Wilson declared the supremely ambitious goal of a crusade
to make the world safe for democracy
d. Branding the sword of righteousness
e. Wilsonian idealism genuinely believed in the principles he
so eloquently intoned -especially tat the modern world
could not afford the kind of hyper-destructive war that
advanced industrial states were now capable of waging
f. President fired up the public mind to a fever pitch
g. Hang the Kaiser
III. Wilsons Fourteen Potent Points
a. Wilson quickly came to be recognized as the moral leader
of the allied cause
b. Fourteen Points
c. One of his primary purposes was to keep reeling Russia in
the war
d. First five were broad in scape, other points proved to be no
less seductive
e. They held out the hope of independence to oppressed
minority groups
IV. Creel Manipulates Minds
a. Mobilizing peoples minds for war
b. Committee on Public Information was created
c. George Creel
d. Proved that words were indeed weapons
e. Propaganda took varied forms
f. The entire nation burst into song, catching the frenzied
spirit of religious revival
g. Creel typified American war mobilization, which relied more
on aroused passion and voluntary compliance than on
formal laws
V. Enforcing Loyalty and Stifling Dissent
a. German Americans numbered over 8 million counting those
with at least one parent foreign-born, out of a total
population of 100 million
b. Hysterical hatred of Germans and things Germanic swept
the nation
c. Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918
d. Schenck v. United States 1919
e. Freedom of speech could be revoked when such speech
posed a clear and present danger to the nation
VI. The Nations Factories Go to War
a. Victory was no foregone conclusion
b. Towering obstacles confronted economic mobilizers
c. Wilson succeeded in imposing some order on this economic
d. War Industries Board set precedent for the fed. Gov. to
take a central role in economic planning in moments of
VII. Workers in Wartime
a. Threatened any unemployed male with being immediately
b. Work or fight
c. National War Labor Board
d. Exerted itself to head off labor disputes that might hamper
the war effort
e. Samuel Gompers and his American Federation of Labor
loyally supported the war
f. Mainstream labors loyalty was rewarded
g. Labor harbored grieves
h. Wartime inflation threatened to eclipse wage gains
i. Black workers who entered the steel mills in 1919 were but
a fraction of the tens of thousands of southern blacks
drawn to the North in wartime b the magnet of war-
industry employment
j. Sparked interracial violence
VIII. Suffering Until Suffrage
a. Women also heeded the call of patriotism and opportunity
b. The war split the womens movement deeply
c. Larger part of the suffrage movement represented by the
National American Women Suffrage Association, supported
Wilsons war
d. The fight for democracy abroad was womens best hope for
winning true democracy at home
e. Nineteenth Amendment was ratified giving all American
women the right to vote
f. Traditional role as mothers Sheppard-Towner Maternity
Act of 1921
g. Expanded the responsibility of the federal gov. for family
h. Pressing for more laws to protect women in the work place
and prohibit child labor
IX. Forging a War Economy
a. Food Administration - the Quaker-humanitarian Herbert C
b. Hoover preferred to rely on voluntary compliance rather
than on compulsory edicts
c. Country soon broke out in a rash of vegetable victory
gardens as perspiring patriots hoed their way to victory in
backyards and vacant lots
d. Thanks to the fervent patriotic wartime spirit, Hoovers
voluntary approach worked
e. Pressures of various kinds, patriotic and otherwise, were
used to sell bonds
f. Despite the Wilson administrations preference for
voluntary means of mobilizing the economy, over the
course of the war it expanded the federal Gov. in size and
X. Making Plowboys into Doughboys
a. Did not dream of sending a mighty force to France
b. As far as fighting went, America would use its navy to
uphold freedom of the seas
c. A huge American army would have to be raised trained and
transported or the whole western front would collapse
d. Proposed draft bill
e. Draft machinery worked effectively
f. Army grew to over 4 million men
g. African Americans also served, though in strictly
segregated units and usually under white officers
XI. Fighting in France Belatedly
a. Russias collapse underscored the need for haste
b. Communistic Bolsheviks after seizing power late in 1917,
ultimately withdrew their beat country from the
capitalistic war early in 1918
c. Berlins calculations as the American tardiness were
surprisingly accurate
d. France gradually began to bustle with American doughboys
e. American operations were not confined solely to France;
small detachments fought in Belgium, Italy, and notably
XII. America Helps Hammer the Hun
a. Dreaded German drive on the western front exploded in
the spring 1918
b. At last the ill-trained Yanks were coming and not a
moment too soon
c. Chateau-Thierry
d. Historic moment
e. First significant engagement of American troops in a
European war
f. Clear that a new American giant had arisen in the West to
replace the dying Russian titan in the East
g. Demanded a separate army gen. John J (Black Jack)
h. Pershings army undertook the Meuse-Argonne offensive
i. Slow progress and severe losses from machine guns
resulted in part from inadequate training, in part from
dashing open field tactics with the bayonet liberally
j. Alvin C York became a hero when he single-handedly killed
20 Germans and captured 132 more
k. Propaganda leaflets, containing seductive Wilsonian
promises, rained down upon their crumbling lines from
balloons, shells, and rockets
XIII. The Fourteen Points Disarm Germany
a. Berlin was now ready to hoist the white flag
b. Exhausted Germans were through
c. Laid down their arms at 11 o clock on the 11th day of the
11th month of 1918 and an eerie numbing silence fell over
the western front
d. US main contributions to the ultimate victory had been
foodstuffs, munitions, credits, oil for this first mechanized
war, and manpower-but bot battlefield victories
XIV. Wilson Steps Down from Olympus
a. Wilson had helped win the war
b. No other man had ever occupied so dizzy a pinnacle as
moral leader of the world
c. Broke the truce by personally appealing for democratic
victory in the congressional election so Nov. 1918
XV. An Idealist Amid the Imperialist
a. Wilson the great prophet arisen in the West received
tumultuous welcomes from the masses of France, England,
and Italy late in 1918 and early in 1919
b. Speed was urgent when the conference opened on Jan 18,
c. Europe seemed to be slipping into anarchy
d. Wilsons ultimate goal was a world parliament to be jnown
as the League of Nations
e. Wilson had been serving as midwife for the League of
Nations, which he envisioned as containing an assembly
with seats for all nations and a council to be controlled by
the great powers
XVI. Hammering Out the Treaty
a. Domestic duties now required Wilson to make a quick trip
to America, where ugly storms were brewing in the Senate
b. Irreconcilables
c. 39 Republican senator proclaimed that the Senate would
not approve the League of Nations in its existing imperfect
XVII. The Peace Treaty That Bred a New War
a. Treaty of Versailles
b. Wilson was guilty of no conscious betrayal
c. Troubled Wilson was not happy with the results
XVIII. The Domestic Parade of Prejudice
a. Isolationists raised a whirlwind a protest against the treaty,
especially against Wilsons commitment to usher the US
into his newfangled League of Nations
b. Invoking the revered advice of Washington and Jefferson,
they wanted no part of any entangling alliance
XIX. Wilsons Tour and Collapse -1919
a. Despite mounting discontent, the pres., had reason to feel
b. Decided to take his case to the country in spectacular
speechmaking tour
c. Pres. Tour began got off to a rather lame stat
d. But the reception was different in the Rocky Mountain
region and on the Pacific Coast- welcomed him with heart
warming outbursts
XX. Defeat Through Deadlock
a. Sardonic slap at Wilsons fourteen Points
b. Wilson hating lodge, saw red at the mere suggestion of the
Lodge reservations
c. The nation was too deeply shocked to accept the verdict as
d. The Lodge-Wilson personal feud, traditionalism,
isolationism, disillusionment, and partisanship all
contributed to the confused picture
XXI. The Solemn Referendum of 1920
a. He proposed to settle the treaty issue in the forth coming
presidential campaign of 1920 by appealing to the people
for a solemn referendum
b. With newly enfranchised women swelling the vote totals,
Harding was swept into power with a prodigious plurality of
over 7 million votes, the largest victory margin to that date
in a presidential election
c. Republican isolationists successfully turned Hardings
victory into a death sentence for the League
XXII. The Betrayal of Great Expectations
a. The Republic had helped to win a costly war, but it foolishly
kicked the fruits of victory table
b. Ultimate collapse of the Treaty of Versailles must be laid at
least in some degree at Americas doorstep
c. No less ominous events were set in motion when the
Senate spurned the Security Treaty with France
d. The US hurt its own cause when it buried its head in the
e. It permitted itself blithely to drift toward the abyss of a
second and even more bloody international disaster